“Fucking hell Stiggy, you can’t do that on here,” Colin said when he saw Stiggy pull out a can of glue.
Stiggy shrugged. “Why not?”
“Because it will fucking stink,” Brian said, “and the train guard will chuck us all off.”
“Yeah well,” Stiggy said, “not if I open a window it won’t.”
“Can’t you do it in the bogs or something?”
“Nah, fuck that. I’m sick of hiding away, it’s not like it’s illegal or nothing.” Stiggy unscrewed the lid and poured a blob of glue into a bag.
Brian frowned. “Yeah, well, you can fuck off to the other side of the carriage with it. And when the train guard catches you we don’t know who you are, right?”
Stiggy shrugged and rose to his feet. He walked along the carriage to the exit door and pulled down its window. He leaned out, turned his head to face away from the wind, and raised the glue-bag to his mouth.
“Fucking dick,” Brian said, shaking his head. Colin turned to watch Stiggy.
Stiggy let out a roar and leaned out further. He stretched up on his toes and shuffled his stomach across the window edge, then roared again. He raised his arms out sideways as if they were wings, and the glue-bag flew out of his hand. His feet rose from the ground.
“Fucking hell, quick,” Colin shouted as he jumped to his feet. He ran to the door and grabbed one of Stiggy’s ankles. He could feel something hard in Stiggy’s sock, but didn’t have time to think what it might be. Stiggy’s other leg kicked out wildly at him, narrowly missing his face. Stiggy clamped his hands against the outside of the train when Colin tried to pull him back into the carriage.
Brian rushed forward and took hold of Stiggy’s other ankle. They both tugged, fighting against Stiggy’s apparent desire to jump out of the train. With both of them pulling together, Stiggy’s hands began to slip, and with a final roar he fell face down on the floor of the train carriage.
Colin bent down and lifted up the bottom of Stiggy’s combat trousers to see what was hidden in his sock. It was a knife with a vicious looking six inch blade, fastened to Stiggy’s ankle with black masking tape.
“Fucking hell Bri, look at this!”
Brian’s eyes widened when he looked at the knife. “Jesus fucking Christ. I told you that cunt was trouble. What the fuck’s he doing with something like that?”
“Help me get it off,” Colin said, pulling at the masking tape.
Between them they were able to remove enough of the tape to twist the knife loose, and Colin tossed it out of the train window.
Stiggy stumbled to his feet and made straight for the window. Brian grabbed his arms and held him in place while Colin closed it.
“What the fuck did you do that for?” Stiggy yelled. He struggled in Brian’s grip.
“Why do you fucking think, you mad bastard,” Brian said. “You can’t take a fucking knife to a gig.”
“What’s going on here?” A voice thundered from nearby.
Colin spun toward it. A six-foot, well built man of African descent wearing a train guard uniform glared at him.
“Nothing,” Colin said. “Um … he’s not feeling very well. Travel sickness, you know.”
“So why are you holding his arms like that then?” The train guard looked at Brian. Brian let go of Stiggy and shrugged. “Well?”
Brian glanced at Colin, then looked at the train guard. “Um… so he doesn’t fall over? He got a bit dizzy.”
“Is that right?” the train guard asked Stiggy.
Stiggy shrugged and glared at Colin. “Yeah,” he said.
The train guard grunted. “Right, okay. Let me see your tickets.” They presented their train tickets and he punched holes in them with a clipper. “Right. Now go and sit down, you’re blocking the gangway here. And no more trouble or you’ll be off the train at the next station. Clear?” They all nodded. The guard stood to one side and gestured for them to pass.
Colin and Brian sat down in the nearest vacant seat. Stiggy walked to the opposite end of the carriage, where he remained for the rest of the journey to Shefferham.
* * *
Continued next Friday.
Punk Faction by Marcus Blakeston is also available in paperback and ebook if you don’t want to wait that long.